February 23, 2017 - Volume 37 Issue 4



Gov. Jim Justice will address participants attending the West Virginia School Board Association’s FY17 Winter Conference. Here is a link to the program: WVSBA Winter Conference Program '17.

The conference is being held this weekend in Charleston.

The governor will make his remarks at the plenary session at 1:00 p.m. on Friday.

“On behalf of this organization, the governor’s demonstrated respect for the voice of folks at the local level – and this is not rhetoric – is a message each county board education member, county superintendent, principal and teacher should respect,” Howard M. O’Cull, Ed.D., WVSBA executive director, said. “For too long, ‘Charleston’ has led. The change in tone and philosophy is one for which local educational officials and staffs should be grateful.”

O’Cull noted that West Virginia Board of Education members Barbara Whitecotton and Miller Hall also will attend the conference. Hall is scheduled to introduce the governor. Whitecotton is a former county superintendent and Hall is a former central office administrator. Hall co-chaired the Governor’s Public Education Transition Team.

In addition, House Education Vice Chairman Joe Statler will join conference participants at the Friday evening session, O’Cull said.


Phil Lurie, program officer at the Kettering Foundation’s Washington, D.C. office will be the keynote presenter at the WVSBA’s Winter Conference. His presentation will focus on how people, in communities, come to see themselves as responsible for the education of youth in the places where they live.

Given this context, Lurie said, “Our question for school boards, then, is how they could relate to education being understood as a community endeavor (as opposed to being just a challenge for schools, educators, and administrators).” His presentation is scheduled to follow remarks by Gov. Jim Justice.

Conference programming for Friday evening will be about increasing county board effectiveness in times of change, retrenchment and fiscal uncertainty. Information derived from small- and large-group exercises will be presented to various state-level policymakers.

“We, in fact, have been requested to provide this information,” O’Cull said. “Lawmakers and the state board of education want to hear from county boards, and I devised an approach to secure that information. The approach involves all conference participants.”

Other conference presentations will be about county boards of education decision-making in terms of recommendations made by county superintendents, particularly personnel matters. That session, to be presented by Bowles Rice, LLP, attorneys, is slated for Saturday.

Annual business meeting will be held.

The association’s FY18 Annual Business Meeting will be held at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday. A major item of business is election of association officers.


The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission’s Executive Director’s Update/Month in Review for January is available at: http://publications.wvsba.org/sites/default/files/images/January%202017.pdf.

Editor’s Note: This update is presented by Jim Crawford (Kanawha) who represents county boards of education as a member of the WVSSAC Board of Directors. Crawford is a past president of the West Virginia School Board Association.


The Cabell County Board of Education in Huntington is seeking applications for schools superintendent. Contact the West Virginia School Board Association, requesting a Notice of Position Vacancy, which describes the online application process - www.wvsba.org (Under ‘At-A-Glance’).  The notice has been available since Monday, February 13 at 4:00 p.m. Deadline to apply is 4:00 p. m. Wednesday, March 15, 2017. The superintendent’s term commences July 1, 2017. Visit the Cabell County Board’s official website: http://boe.cabe.k12.wv.us/